« AnteriorContinua »
All of the limestone formations in the State, from the coal measures to the fourth magnesian, have more or less strata of very nearly pure carbonate of lime, which will consequently make good quick-lime. But few, if any, of the States have such an abundance and so general a distribution of this important article of domestic use.
Suitable for potters, are worked in many localities in the State. There will be no lack of this material.
Kaolin has been discovered at a few places, and worked at one or two.
Brick clays have been discovered and worked in nearly all the counties where there has been a demand for them. The argillaceous portions of the bluff formation make good brick, as shown in the brickyards of nearly all the towns on our large rivers where this formation abounds. The brickyards of St. Louis are supplied from this source.
Are manufactured from the fire-clays of the lower coal series in St. Louis county. These bricks have the reputation of possessing fine refractory properties. There are many beds of fire clay in the coal measures. Some beds of the Hudson river group in Ralls and Pike counties, of the Hamilton group in Pike and Marion, and of the vermicular sandstone and shales on North river, seem to possess all the qualities of the very best fire-clays. The quantity of these clays is great, almost beyond computation. No possible demand could exhaust it.
Has often been observed. Some of the more silicious beds of the coal measures are very refractory, as many have discovered. The upper strata of the ferruginous sandstones, some arenaceous beds of the encrinital limestone, the upper part of the Chouteau limestone, and the fine-grained, impure beds of the magnesian limestones, all possess qualities which will enable them to withstand the action of fire. But the second and third sandstones are the most refractory rocks yet examined. They are used in the furnaces at Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob.
There are several beds of purple shales in the coal measures which possess the properties requisite for paints used in outside work. Numbers ten, thirtyone, and fifty, of this formation have shades of a bright purple color, and a firm texture; but number ten possesses the best qualities. Yellow and red ochres are found in considerable quantities. Some of these paints have been thoroughly tested by the Hon. Geo. S. Park and others, who have found them fire-proof and durable. These beds are on the Missouri river.
In any desirable quantity may be obtained in the drift formation and in the creeks and rivers of all parts of the State.
There is an abundance of coarse reddish granite in several counties. Some of these will make admirable stone for heavy, massive structures.
Of various shades of buff, red, and brown, occur in all the geological systems of the State. Many of them are firm and durable, and they present colors suited to various styles of architecture.
This brief and general view of the deposits of useful minerals in the country tributary to St. Louis shows that Nature has been lavish of the materials necessary for the growth and stability of a great city. If, in connection with these vast and varied mineral products, we take into the view the well-known facts that Missouri and the adjacent States possess soils of wonderful fertility, and in varieties suited to all the staple crops and fruits of the temperate zone; that the whole region is intersected by rivers and creeks, and watered by countless living springs; that it is groaning beneath boundless forests of nearly every variety of the best timber on the continent; that numerous railroads and ten thousand miles of river navigation center here; that we are in the great highway of the moving populations of both hemispheres, we shall have more of the causes and conditions of growth, wealth, and permanence than have ever surrounded any city of ancient or modern times.
IRON FURNACES AND MILLS IN MISSOURI, THEIR CAPITAL AND CAPACITY OF PRODUCTION.
Notwithstanding the immense store of mineral deposits in Missouri, art and industry have done comparatively little in rendering these mines of wealth serviceable to the people of the country. The following statement of facts, as given by one of our principal iron merchants, will show what is being done in Missouri in the practical development of the iron interest:
ST. LOUIS, May 7, 1870.
L. U. REAVIS, Esq.: Below is a list of the furnaces and mills in our State, all of which, with the exception of the rail mill about being erected at Carondelet, are or will be in full blast by June The rail mill should be completed and finished by December next. The estimate of the working capital of the several establishments is my own, and may not be entirely correct.
I have no means of arriving at the number of men directly employed in the several establis ments named, but believe that 2,000 would be a low estimate.
Since the above note was written, Mr. Valle having stated that the Kingsland Iron Company was merged in the Vulcan Iron-works, to make railroad iron, and that the capital invested was $1,000,000, and the capacity 40,000 tons of rails, this change will therefore increase his previous statement $250,000 in capital and 10,000 tons of rails in capacity—leaving the capital of the fifteen furnaces at $4,000,000, and increasing the capital of the mills to $1,250,000, and the capacity of the mills to 50,000 tons, and the value of rails and merchant iron, at $85, to $4,250,000; and the value of pig iron being $4,655,000, the total value of pig iron, railroad and merchant iron will therefore amount to $8,905,000.
An extensive business is carried on, in many parts of the State, in the production of lead. Quite a number of furnaces are in active operation, which are affording a constant yield for the markets. Although lead mines in Missouri have been worked for more than one hundred years, their richness is so great that they will afford a profitable field for labor much longer than another century.
The production of zinc in the State is quite recent. Some three or four fine mills are now in active use in and around the city, preparing the zinc for market. The number will no doubt be increased at an early day.
PLATE GLASS MANUFACTURE IN ST. LOUIS.
Among the exhaustless treasures of mineral wealth in Missouri are found, in ample abundance, the best materials for the manufacture of plate glass, of which there is not a single manufactory in the United States worthy the name, to supply the great and increasing demand. A few miles below St. Louis, on the banks of the Mississippi, there is a locality admirably suited for the purpose of making plate glass-an exhaustless mountain mine of white sand of the finest and best quality, at the door of the works, to save the cost of cartage. Good coal can be obtained at a short distance, and brought in barges to the wharf, which has a frontage of two thousand feet, and deep water. Clay for pits, and lime for flues, and other materials, are easily obtainable. The best grinding sand is found nearly in the river, of which a large quantity is used. Fire-brick for the furnaces can be had. A large supply of timber is on the premises. The position is one of great centrality and convenience for the conveyance of the glass to market by water. The best manufacturing mill has been provided, and experienced skilled labor has been secured for the erection of the works and the successful manufacture of plate glass of the best quality and largest dimensions required. The enterprise promises large aud certain profits, as the duty on plate glass is sixty per cent. per square foot. Arrangements have been made for the immediate organization of a plate glass company, under the auspices of public-spirited and influential citizens of St. Louis. It will be an honor to this city to have organized and put in successful operation the first plate glass manufactory in the United States, and one of the most profitable investments in the country, and of permanent value to the property of this city.
The fact of the existence of tin in Missouri is established beyond a question or doubt. Very rich lodes and veins are found in Madison county, of this State. Small quantities are known to exist in adjoining counties, and, in all probability, will be found in other parts of the State when more extensive and
accurate geological surveys are made. Tin ore from the Madison county lodo has been smelted in several instances, and found to be very rich. In several cases, the smelting proved the ore to contain, at the lowest yield, six and one-half per cent. of pure tin. Other smelts, at the same time, yielded eight and one half per cent. of pure tin, this being the highest yield. Both together make an average yield of seven per cent. pure tin. This is understood to be by far the richest yield in the world, and the quantity of ore sufficient to supply the world with tin.
A joint-stock company, with a capital of $200,000, is now organized, under the name of the Missouri Tin Company, for the purpose of working the mines, and the company will proceed at once to erect furnaces and machinery, for the purpose of smelting tin. This enterprise will, without question, be a valuable contribution to the mineral development and industry of the State of Missouri.
Notwithstanding the great variety of valuable stone in the State of Missouri for building and finishing purposes, there are but few of them, in comparison to the whole, that have entered into serviceable use in the State, and such as have, are only used in a too limited extent. It is time this negligent policy among our builders and stone-cutters were abolished. Why should we go abroad for stone when we cannot surpass in beauty and value that which belongs to our own State? Aside from the many valuable quarries of marble and hard and soft stone of the State, which are generally known, we have thought proper to mention two or more specimens which are not so well known to our citizens, and the use of which is improperly neglected by our builders and ornamental stone cutters. There is the
ROSS-ANTICO MARBLE OF CAPE GIRARDEAU.
This is a fine specimen, as well as quality, of variegated and somewhat chocolate-colored marble. Its texture is fine, and is susceptible of a superior polish. Its strength and specific gravity is nearly equal to that of granite. It will sustain a pressure of more than fifteen thousand pounds to the cubic inch. This valuable stone will supply a great want in our city and State for building purposes, as well as for tiling, for tablets, paneling, and various ornamental uses about the homes of the wealthy and tasteful of our people. Its similarity to the Etruscan highly befits it for such uses, while for monu. ments and out-door buildings it will hardly be surpassed in durability, for it has already been thoroughly tested by exposure in the cemetery at Cape Girardeau. It abounds in large quantities in Cape Girardeau county, and is easy of access, and can be put into market without difficulty. The quarry out of which this marble is now obtained is in the hands of a company, Colonel Charles Durfee & Co., who are making great efforts to bring it into commercial use